"Born again Texan" Jace Everett -- he was born in Ohio, but moved to Texas at the age of six -- has seen a little bit of the world. While playing in a band in Monaco, he met the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his son. Moving back to Texas, Everett even quit music for a while to go into construction. His other jobs included bartending, ditch digging, truck washer and waiter -- at least a couple of which sound like fine fodder for country songs. In the end, he left the construction industry and went back to playing music. Citing influences as far afield as Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker and Bob Marley, Everett first started playing seriously as a bassist in his church. His wide-open ears helped as he graduated to traveling with cover bands of the sort that brought him to Monaco. Finally, he landed a deal at a major label but found himself unceremoniously dropped when his supporters there left. He then wound up signed again, this time to Sony Nashville. Paired with producer Mark Wright, who's helped honky-tonk revisionists as different as Brooks & Dunn and Gretchen Wilson to platinum success, Everett recorded his first album. Writing or co-writing more than half the songs, he's ensured that the record bears his own stamp: that of a man who's learned from his life's mistakes, but who is bound to embrace both bad times and good. (His first single, "That's the Kind of Love I'm In," is a taste of the latter.) Jace Everett's thoughtful approach to country, as well as his large musical gifts, will surely pay off in attention.